The hot “dog days of summer” are quickly approaching, and with them comes a need to keep friends and family well hydrated! In the past few weeks I have found some great beverage recipes that are extremely more exciting than the same old hum-drum usual offerings of lemonade, ice tea, soda, beer, and wine. When hosting a party, it’s so easy to get caught up with the main menu preparation and completely forget about the possibility of doing something special for the drinks.
I recently read in Ina Garten’s latest Barefoot Contessa book that we all think that it’s important to have every menu item be a star. The truth is, if you have one star menu item and creative food presentation when you are entertaining, everyone will remember it as a great meal. So, next time you have a gathering in your kitchen or out by your pool, why not try these awesome variations on the traditional lemonade and Sangria. If you want to jazz up the presentation, a Fiestaware colored Carafe or large Disc Pitcher make mixing up and serving these bulk beverages a snap.
(from August 2006 Cuisine at Home)
- 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate (12 oz.)
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 ½ cups mango juice
- ½ cup red or green grapes, halved
- ½ cup fresh pineapple, chopped
- ½ cup mango, chopped
- ½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
Combine concentrate, water, and juice in a large pitcher (the 64 oz. Fiestaware carafe is great.) Add the fruit to the juice mixture leaving small berries whole and other fruit in bite-sized chunks. Pour the individual servings into tall Tervis tumblers and serve with a long handled iced-tea spoon.
(complements of The Food Network’s Sandra Lee Almost Home-Made)
- 1 1/2 cups white wine (recommended: Pinot Grigio)
- 2 bags green tea with honey (recommended: Lipton)
- 1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries
- 1 can (10.4 ounces) mandarin oranges in juice (recommended: Golden Star)
- 1 cup lychees and 1/2 cup juice reserved (recommended: Golden Star)
- 1/2 bottle (750 ml) plum wine, chilled
Combine frozen cherries, cooled green tea white wine, mandarin oranges with juice, and lychees with reserved juice in a large pitcher.
Top with plum wine. Serve chilled in wine glasses or Tervis tumblers.